In a weird confluence of work-related events, I just ran into AE, who I’m working with in a small way for a project for my DL course. We talked about the issue of anonymity or toning yourself down on account of not knowing which of your colleagues are reading. We also talked about the project.

Sally has just started liveblogging: I feel I’ve peer pressured her into it!

Gillmor discusses comments: they’re binary in the sense of on or off, but also “crappy or not.” He wants to see what people want in comment functionality.

Will the traditional newspaper unravel? The nature of how people get news is changing: the former readers will be able to tell each other whatthe news is. This gets me back to the issue of the vox populi versus elitism: do I want to know what some guy down the street thinks is news? Not really. Do I want to know what some guy in Banda Aceh or Tehran thinks is news? Probably. Where do I draw the line? I don’t know.

Cone: “Journalists playing with a new journalism toy.” Damn, this guy is quotable. I suppose it’s on account of his being a newspaperman?: he’s used to writing in snappy phrases.

Paul mentions a book by the creator (Batten?) of The Weather Channel on how to use public information in a business setting. Is this like Red Hat, how to make a profit on free stuff? Note to self: look this book up.

I’m surprised how many people here say they don’t have blogs.

Marley: Big Media did a poor job covering this last election. What should bloggers’ roles be in overcoming or compensating for this? Gillmor: “I’m surprised that it took this long for the accuracy & truth question to come up.” Participatory journalism: “just-in-time democracy.” Sinreich: many of the people reading blogs are politicians, so blogs should serve the function as watchdogs. She asks how many people here are journalists: lots. Gillmor asks how many are blogging for reasons other than journalism: even more. Winer: I look to blogs to give me expertise… I’d rather hear from the 20 experts in volume on the subjects they’re expert on, & thereby overcome the signal-to-noise ratio. I’m with him on that, for sure. But then I’m an elitist, as previously established. Warlick: literacy means more now than just being able to read, so the educational system must teach critical thinking & information literacy (though he doesn’t use that term). Heavens yes: I try to teach both to my undergrads, but by then it’s almost too late: I sometimes think that if I wanted to put my money where my mouth is, I’d teach grade school.

The discussion, filtered: The problem with blogs being a corrective on the media is that the corrective will come from groups with agendas. So will Big Media find itself getting pushed around? In the end what the media should be taking is the end result, the validated stuff. But what’s happening now is that the media is picking up stories from blogs whole cloth: a blogger writes it, so we print it. Good grief, if that doesn’t demonstrate the importance of critical thinking & information literacy, I don’t know what does. Filter, people, filter!

Lane mentions librarians (finally someone mentions librarians!): readers’ info needs & sources like wikipedia in fulfilling them. It’s librarians’ jobs to teach info literacy, but it’s not bloggers’ jobs.

Will R: Open-source journalism. If your archive is behind a wall, your credibility is diminished. Is he serious? In an ideal world maybe, but in reality, almost exactly the opposite. Which are the credible news sources? NY Times: subscription archives only. WSJ: ditto. Blog archives are open, & what credibility do they have? Of course, CNN’s archives are open.

Paul: Vinge’s Fire Upon the Deep is about Usenet. Post on Slashdot about this. Note to self: read this later (the post – I’ve read the book).

Gillmor: The problem that’s shaping up for journalism today is a business problem, the business model is “unravelling.” Newspapers are under attack by competitors going after each of the advertising streams, competitors that are not at all concerned about journalism. “I don’t want to see Big Media go away… I think it serves a critical function.” Sally mentions talking about blogs at a conference of newspaper people & the reaction that blogs have no credibility: “the pajama problem.” Big Media is all about “maintaining the franchise.” But differentiates between Big Media & the smalltown newspaper. So is the smalltown newspaper closer to Big Media or to blogs?

Coleman: Blogs are corrective to Big Media: the “irrelevance of truth” to Bush’s re-election puts the lie to that one. John Bachir speaks: this is so great, the cameraman making a contribution to the conversation. Talk about participatory media. Gillmor makes the same observation: “that was very bloggish.”

Paul: Structural holes. Blogs are filling holes. Will those filled-holes be absorbed into the structure over time?

Winer: What motivates Big Media & Big Media’s coverage of certain events? (Well, money, duh.) Be suspicious. Copeland: Big Media is an artificial construct, & that fiction is embued with credibility. That fiction has more credibility than real humans? He doesn’t buy it.

Gillmor: Question for the future: Will it take foundations to preserve much of what we value in traditional journalism? E.g., The Center for Public Integrity.

Sally just pulled up the N&R‘s site: Dean has officially been elected as DNC chair. That’s a happy way to end this coverage.